As a chiropractor, you have a lot of competition, as the ranks of fellow chiropractic doctors and practices swell every year. So it’s more important than ever to understand the facts and statistics about chiropractic care and the patients we endeavor to treat, as well as industry trends and correlating topics, like insurance and surgery, etc.
These can either be selling point to your patients, highlighted in marketing messages, used to narrow the focus of your practice to maximize efficiency, fuel for you to correctly position yourself among increasing competition, or just a great reminder of who your clients are and why they need your help.
This collection of statistics and facts come from a variety of credible sources, including the American Chiropractic Association, National Institute of Health Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ThriveHive.com, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Gallup Organization, and the Western Journal of Medicine and others.
The prevalence of chiropractic care:
More than 20 million Americans seek chiropractic care every year.
Chiropractic is also popular around the world. Reportedly, there are 10,000 chiropractors in Japan, 5,000 in Canada, 2,500 in Australia,1,000 in the U.K., and up to 500 each in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, South Africa, and The Netherlands.
The public may perceive the chiropractic field as new, or consider it “alternative” treatment or therapy, but in fact, chiropractic has been around for more than 100 years.
Employment and income:
There are currently about 75,000 chiropractors in the United States.
The total annual revenue for the chiropractic industry is $15 billion.
The average DC earns an income of $66,160 per year, as of 2012.
Based on their workload, that comes to about $31.81 per hour.
Job and industry growth has risen 1.7% over the last 10-15 years.
Job and industry growth is expected to rise by approximately 15% over the next decade.
Small and solo DC practices are still the norm, as 98% of chiropractic practices earn less than $1 million a year.
The average chiropractic patient has 5 visits.
Small and independent practices still make up the vast majority of chiropractic offices.
58.5% of all practices are made up of just one chiropractor.
However, these sole proprietorships generate only 12.4% of total industry revenue.
In fact, less than 0.1% of all chiropractic firms have 100 employees or more, yet the four largest companies in the industry generate less than 1% of total industry revenue.
67% of chiropractic offices still don’t have electronic medical records (EMR).
However, 55% of them plan to implement EMR into their practice within the next year.
Only 23% of chiropractic practices exchange electronic health data, though 65% admit they need to do so with radiology providers.
At least 80% of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their life.
And that’s even lower than the numbers for all citizens of the Western countries, where 85% of all people will suffer back pain in their lives.
At least 25% of Americans reported lower back pain that lasted at least one day or longer within the last 3 months.
Of all chiropractic patients, 35% are receiving care for back pain.
And about 20% of patients are seeking treatment for neck pain.
Surveys reveal that the most prevalent kind of back pain reported is low-back pain (28.1%), severe headache/migraine (16.1%) and neck pain (15.1%).
Every year, there are at least 7.3 million emergency department visits due to back pain, problems, and injuries, which adds up to about 20,000 ER visits every day!
In fact, back pain and symptoms are the most frequent cause of disability for people under the age of 45.
Out of all discharges from our military, 20% are due to low back pain.
The cost of back pain:
Behind only cancer and heart disease, back pain ranks as the third most expensive health condition in the United States, costing us about $100 billion annually.
The U.S. government alone spends $496 million on chiropractic services through Medicare, which is a notable .06% of the entire $77 billion Medicare budget.
Satisfaction and effectiveness of chiropractic:
Chiropractic patients express an astounding 95% satisfaction rating that their treatments were effective.
In fact, chiropractic patients were 3 times more satisfied with their care than patients of family practice physicians.
58% of people who use chiropractic consider it an essential part of their heath.
The rate of back surgeries is about 40% higher in the U.S. than in other developed and Western countries.
And of the people who choose to treat their back or neck pain with chiropractic first, they reduce the necessity for surgery by 32%.
At the same time, studies show that chiropractic saves an average of 45-55% in total cots compared to treatment by medical doctors or surgery.
Chiropractic is extremely safe, especially compared to other medical treatments for back pain and other common maladies. In fact, Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) pay significantly lower malpractice premium than allopathic doctors (MDs).
Opting for chiropractic before surgery is a choice that could literally save lives.
Data shows that per 10 million patients:
-There are 200,000 deaths from spinal fusion surgeries.
-There are 68,966 deaths from cervical (neck) surgeries.
-Every year, 60,000 people per 10 million patients die from hospital mistakes.
-And the prevalence of over prescribing of opiate prescription painkillers has reached epidemic proportions, attributing to millions of deaths and addictions.
At the same time, the only 2 patients per 10 million have perished (from strokes) during chiropractic treatment.